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Hermès Furniture

For Hermès, what began as a maker of leather equestrian goods for European noblemen would eventually grow into one of the most storied fashion labels in the world. In 1837, German-born French entrepreneur Thierry Hermès opened a saddle and harness purveyor in Paris. Gradually, the house extended into accessories and luggage for its riders, and today, in paying homage to its origins, the family-run luxury brand resurfaces horse motifs in everything from clothing and modernist jewelry to pillows and handbags.

The first top-handled bag ever produced by Hermès was the Haut à courroies, which made its debut in 1892. A tall bag secured with a folded leather flap (fastened with bridle-inspired straps), it was designed to transport riding boots and a harness. As the world made the switch from horse to automobile, the bag adapted, becoming a multifunctional travel satchel instead of a designated saddlebag. Today, 120 years later, the HAC remains in Hermès’s line — and its distinctive flap and clasping straps have laid the groundwork for some of the house’s other iconic bags.

In the 1930s, Robert Dumas (son-in-law to Émile-Maurice Hermès, Thierry’s grandson) designed a smaller, trapezoidal take on the flap bag with a handle and two side straps. Later, actress Grace Kelly, then engaged to Prince Rainier of Monaco, is said to have used one of these bags to conceal her pregnancy during the 1950s. Because she was photographed constantly, the coverage catapulted her handbag to international popularity. In 1977, Hermès officially renamed the model for her, and the Kelly bag was born. Each Kelly bag takes between 18 and 25 hours to produce, and its 680 hand stitches owe solely to one Hermès artisan.

Robert Dumas was also responsible for another one of the brand’s most iconic offerings: the launch of its first silk scarf on the occasion of Hermès’s 100th anniversary in 1937. Based on a woodblock designed by Dumas and printed on Chinese silk, the accessory was an immediate hit.

Today, vintage Hermès scarves, typically adorned in rich colors and elaborate patterns, serve many functions, just as they did back then. Well-heeled women wear it on their heads, around their necks and, in a genius piece of cross-promotion, tied to the straps of their Hermès bags. Kelly even once used one as a sling for her broken arm.

In 1981, Robert Dumas’s son Jean-Louis Dumas, then Hermès chairman, found himself sitting next to French actress and musician Jane Birkin on a plane, where she was complaining about finding a suitable carryall for the necessary accoutrements of motherhood. After the two travelers were properly introduced, Birkin helped design Jean-Louis’s most famous contribution to the Hermès canon: the Birkin bag, a roomy, square catchall with the HAC’s trademark leather flap top and the addition of a lock and key. Owing to the brand’s legendary commitment to deft, handcrafted construction, the Birkin is an investment that is coveted by collectors everywhere.

While the Kelly and Birkin may be standouts, gracing the arms of everyone from royal heiresses to hip-hop stars in the past few decades, the handbags are but a small part of Hermès’s fashion offerings. Since the 1920s, the brand has produced some of the most desirable leather goods in the world. There’s the Constance bag, a favorite of Jacqueline Kennedy, the recently relaunched 1970s-era Evelyne and, on the vintage market, a slew of designs dating back to the 1920s.

Good design never goes out of style. Find a variety of vintage Hermès handbags, day dresses, shoes and more on 1stDibs.

Iconic Designs from Hermès
Explore timeless pieces that have earned their place in history.
Birkin Bag
Birkin Bag
Kelly Bag
Kelly Bag
Clic Clac H Bracelet
Clic Clac H Bracelet
Clic H Bracelet
Clic H Bracelet
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Sterling Silver "Bamboo" Lighter by Hermès, France, c. 1950s
By Hermès
Located in New York City, NY
Vintage "bamboo" lighter in sterling silver by Hermès, France, c. 1950s Engraved on the underside.
Category

1950s French Mid-Century Modern Vintage Hermès Furniture

Materials

Sterling Silver

Rare Silver-Plated Hermès H-Cube Lighter, France, c. 1960s
By Hermès
Located in New York City, NY
Category

1960s French Mid-Century Modern Vintage Hermès Furniture

Materials

Silver

Engine Turned Silver and Gold-Plated Hermès H-Box, France, circa 1960s
By Hermès
Located in New York City, NY
Category

Mid-20th Century French Hermès Furniture

Materials

Gold, Silver

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Brown and Green Oval Ceramic Tray by Dani and Jacques Ruelland, France, c. 1950s
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Hermès Furniture for sale on 1stDibs.

Hermès Furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are often made of ceramics and are designed with extraordinary care. In our Hermès furniture collection there are many options to choose from, although gray editions of this piece are particularly popular. In-stock we have 8 vintage editions of these items, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. Many of Hermès' original furniture was created in the Romantic style in Europe during the 20th century. Prices for Hermès furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. The price for these items starts at $145 and tops out at $2,899, while pieces like these can sell for $815 on average..

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Questions About Hermès Furniture
  • 1stDibs ExpertSeptember 15, 2020

    There are a few easy things to keep in mind when trying to spot a fake Hermès Lindy bag. Because all Hermès bags are handmade, stitching is a good metric to use (spotting a fake Birkin bag calls for the same careful inspection). Each bag is hand-sewn according to Hermès’s celebrated saddle-stitching technique, so while the sew lines will have some inconsistencies, the work will not be messy, and there won’t be any stitches that are out of place or out of line.

    Hardware on authentic Hermès bags is always made of a genuine precious metal — locks, keys, studs, and other pieces of hardware are usually made of brass that is hand-polished and plated with fine gold, palladium or permabrass. This metal will feel heavy and substantial, and it will not tarnish.

    Did you find an “authenticity card” tucked inside your Hermès Lindy bag? You shouldn’t have — Hermès doesn’t accompany its bags with any card like this.

    On a fake Hermès Lindy bag, the Hermès logo will look irregular, with oversized or blocky text. An authentic Hermès bag has a label stamp — with clear lettering that is lightly pressed into the bag’s leather — that reads “Hermès Paris Made in France.” If your bag has an uneven or crooked label, you may have a fake Hermès Lindy bag.

  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 29, 2020

    No, vintage Hermès Constance bags do not have serial numbers. 

  • Chicjoy
    ChicjoySeptember 24, 2020

    The Constance can be worn crossbody, or with the strap doubled as a shoulder bag.

  • Chicjoy
    ChicjoySeptember 24, 2020

    Select Hermes goods go on sale twice a year in Paris, but Birkins – being highly coveted–are not known to be found at the sale. 

  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 29, 2020

    On the front of your Hermès Constance bag, the metal “H” doubles as both an insignia for the high fashion goods manufacturer and a clasp to keep your bag snapped shut. To open your Hermès Constance handbag, grab the metal “H” — position your fingers directly around the horizontal middle bar of the letter, so that your fingers are curled underneath it, and pull out toward you. The key to opening the clasp without scratching the accessory’s leather is to pull only at the horizontal bar. The bag opens and closes with the help of a spring-loaded mechanism that is concealed on each of the bar’s ends fixed to the flap.